Dining: Food and wine par excellence

Par Derriere in Old Jaffa has moved to larger premises.

December 1, 2016 16:47
3 minute read.
Par Derriere

Par Derriere. (photo credit: PR)

If you love wine and a relaxing, fun place to sip and catch up with friends, Par Derriere is the place for you.

Known for many years among Tel Aviv locals as the “secret garden” wine bar, Par Derriere moved a few months ago from its location behind a graffiti-decorated red door on King George Street to the Noga neighborhood in Old Jaffa. The new location, which is much bigger, includes a Europeanstyle deli that sells everything from fine cheeses, some cured meats, fresh-baked bread and baguettes to various kinds of olives, halva and the like. One can also purchase Italian basics like dry pasta, olive oil and canned tomatoes. There is also a room for private events, as well as a charming garden in the back.

Par Derriere combines high culinary standards with hominess and authenticity. The menu, which features fish, seafood, meat and pasta dishes, is eclectic but with a Mediterranean touch. And it’s clear that careful thought is put into each dish to produce esthetic, creative and delicious results. The tasty dishes are complemented by the finest selection of wines, both local and international.

Owner David Abukia immediately picked up on our likes and dislikes regarding wine and made solid recommendations that improved our evening.

Seated in the garden, we began our meal with two glasses of Blanc de Noir from the Amphorae Winery.

This is a fine example of top-quality Israeli wine: fruity with vibrant acidity, clarity and precision.

Absolutely delicious.

Our meal opened with some excellent starters. We began with the cauliflower salad. I’m a sucker for any cauliflower dish. The cauliflower with herbs and chili was flavorful and delicious. I loved the addition of the pecans and the hint of sweet citrus.

Next up was Par Derriere’s Caesar salad, which consisted of whole Romaine lettuce, asparagus, anchovies and shredded Parmesan.

The salad was crisp and fresh with dressing on every surface of the lettuce leaves, yet it wasn’t too soggy or overpowering.

We were then presented with the Florentine pizza. Legend has it that pizza Florentine was invented as a breakfast pizza in Italy, but it is often eaten today as an unadorned single-course meal. Flavorful is an understatement for this dish. The crust was crisp and cooked perfectly throughout, and the fresh ingredients were applied afterward.

With a mixture of spinach, bechamel sauce, Parmesan cheese, white truffle oil and topped with a perfectly cooked egg that oozed a golden runny yolk, it was wonderful.

This was followed by the 120- gram hamburger served with fries.

The burger was absolutely delicious. Medium rare, it was perfectly cooked with the right amount of juicy tenderness on the inside and charred crispiness on the outside. The fries were very thinly sliced, resulting in a wonderful crunch and minimal greasiness.

In between, I tried a glass of the La Vie Rogue du Castel blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. I am a huge fan of Israeli blends, and Castel is definitely one of the best, showing a velvety texture, flavors of dark fruit, spices and a long finish.

After a bit of a breather, it was on to the mains. First up was the beef fillet. The high quality of the meat was evident in the taste of the food.

It was cooked perfectly. Normally I have to add a lot of salt to my fillets to bring them up to my preferred salt level, but this was seasoned with basic salt and pepper perfectly, no extra seasoning needed. The fillet came with a side dish of trufffle-infused mashed potatoes which were smooth and creamy. Melt-in-your-mouth heavenly.

Last, we tried the lamb tagine on a bed of couscous and braised vegetables. The lamb was braised to the tender point where the meat fell off the bone with the slightest tug.

The desserts were delightful. We shared the creme brulee and the tiramisu. However, the tiramisu came out tops: a heavenly mix of coffee-flavored cookies and sweet cream with a hint of mascarpone.

Par Derriere is a cool oasis and hopefully will continue to be so for years to come. It is the ideal spot for a relaxed evening in the company of a few friends looking for a good time and a great meal.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Par Derriere
Not kosher
7 Bat-Ami Street, Old Jaffa
Tel: (03) 629-2111

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